During the second half of the 1990's, Coalbed Methane (CBM) production increased dramatically nationwide to represent a significant new source of income and natural gas for many independent and established producers. Matching these soaring production rates during this period were the advancements in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technologies generating terra-bytes of new data for the oil & gas industry. Coupled to these accelerating initiatives are Sub-Bituminous coal from an outcrop in the Montana Powder River Basin many environmental concerns relating to production wastes and water table depletion of fresh water resources. It is these concerns that have prompted the conceptualization of this project for the development of Best Management Practices (BMP) and mitigation strategies utilizing GIS technologies for efficient environmental protection in conjunction with effective production of CBM. This has been accomplished by developing a framework to take advantage of a combination of investigative field research joined with leading edge GIS technologies for the creation of environmentally characterized regions of study. This paper will provide a summary of CBM BMPs as well as the use of an Internet-Based GIS application for geospatial analysis relative to CBM development and evaluation of various mitigation techniques and best management practices.

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